Nature Outline 

Quantum computing

Quantum computers are big news, each week brings reports of fresh advances in stability and power. But for many people, the quantum world is mysterious and confusing. In this Outline we explain the differences between classical and quantum computing, and introduce readers to the basic terminology; explore the challenges faced by researchers and engineers as they attempt to build a working quantum computer; and give a flavour of how quantum computers could revolutionize science and technology.

Nature is pleased to acknowledge financial support from Nokia Bell Labs in producing this Outline. The sponsor retains sole responsibility for the following messages.

Nokia Bell Labs is renowned for its profound influence on the evolution of telecommunications and information technologies and produces disruptive innovations for the next phase of human existence. This human challenge has been the charter for Bell Labs and has led to a wealth of industry-redefining innovations, eight Nobel Prizes, National Medals of Science and Engineering, the Turing Prize and the Japan Prize. The breadth of our research extends from devices to all elements of networks and (cloud) computing systems, as well as all the key software systems, platforms and applications that will underpin the digital future.

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